2014 CIS Football Team Preview: Waterloo Warriors

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Source: Dan Ackerman, Waterloo SportsInfo

2013 regular season record: 1-7
2013 regular season standings: 10th place(OUA)
2013 playoff record: Did not qualify

The 2014 Waterloo Warriors will be a solid blend of veteranleadership and new blood as the black and gold look to end a10-year playoff drought. Interim head coach Marshall Bingemanand his dedicated coaching staff has worked tirelessly in theoff-season to make Waterloo a tougher team to playagainst.

Offensively the Warriors will be led by fourth year quarterbackJamie Cook who has had extensive playing time the past two seasonsand is poised to lead the charge. Cook possesses a greatability to read the play and escape from the pocket when needed andhas a strong arm on the run.

At running back the Warriors are deep this season, led by fourthyear standouts Ryan DiRisio and Danny Silvestri. Thereceiving core will miss the production of all-Canadian NickAnapolsky, but the Warriors have added some highly touted recruitsto fill the hole.

Defensively, Waterloo is looking to provide the best personnelpossible to stop the run and get pressure on opposing team’squarterbacks. Matt Kielo has made the move from OT to DE toshore up the front four and he will be joined by a number ofsophomores and freshmen to create a strong rotation. Linebacker is a position of strength for the Warriors with amixture of third and fourth year players including Greg Zaitz,Brendan Conway, Paul Kaija, Brandon Corelli, and Yazeed Sinanbattling for three starting positions. In the defensivebackfield, the Warriors have a number of returners led by ChristianMahler and Jordan Hoover and a few impact freshmen who have theopportunity to make a strong unit on the team.

For success to come Waterloo’s way, the Warriors will haveto focus on winning the small battles while taking it one play at atime. Waterloo’s core group of returning players willhave to remain healthy and play an integral role in leading theiryoung talent against the always tough OUA competition.

Quote from head coach:

“We have had a great off-season with increased levels ofstrength and conditioning training, more time spent with ourcoaches learning the playbook, and working on technique combinedwith a very good class of incoming recruits. If our playerscan sustain mental toughness and focus on winning the one-on-onebattles we will have a good chance of competing each and everygame.”

– Marshall Bingeman

Head Coach:

– Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2013):half a season as interim head coach
– Number of seasons as head coach in CIS (including 2013): half aseason as interim head coach
– Career regular season record with team: 3-3
– Career regular season record in CIS: 3-3
– Career overall record with team (reg. season & playoffsonly): 3-3
– Career overall record in CIS (reg. season & playoffsonly): 3-3

OFFENCE

Number of returning starters: 7

QB Jamie Cook (Collingwood, Ont.) returns for his 3rd seasonwith the Warriors. Jamie split duties last year with BrianChris. Jamie threw for 874 yards with a 57% completion rateand rushed for an additional 157 yards.

OL Taz Martin (Elmira, Ont.) returns for his 3rd year with theWarriors. The 6’4 305lb guard is a force on theinterior of the line.

RB Ryan DiRisio (Burlington, Ont.) returns for his 4th seasonwith the Warriors. Splitting duties at the TB position lastyear he rushed for 247 yards, while being a key member of our passprotection. Ryan is also an outstanding receiver out of theback field and from the slot position.

OL Greg Coffin (Burlington, Ont.) enters his second year for theWarriors. A member of the OUA All-Rookie team, he became astarter at center as a freshmen and proved his strength andtenacity.

Key Recruits
QB Lucas McConnell (Waterford, Ont.)
RB Richmond Nketiah (Brampton, Ont.)
RB Mitch Kernick (Elmira, Ont.)
FB Ben Koczwara (London, Ont.)

Key Losses
WR Nick Anapolsky
OL Matt Vonk

DEFENCE

Number of returning starters: 9

Key Returning Players:

DL Matt Kielo (Kingston, Ont.) is returning for his 5th seasonwith the Warriors. Matt is moving from his OL position toplay on the defensive line in 2014.

DB Jordan Hoover (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) is returning for his2nd season with the Warriors. Jordan was a leader in thedefensive backfield in his first season with the Warriors untilinjury sidelined him for the season.

LB Greg Zaitz (Ancaster, Ont.) enters his 4th season with theWarriors. Greg led the Warriors in tackling last year with54.5 and added in an interception, and a sack. He wasselected to compete in the 2014 CIS East-West Bowl game.

DB Christian Mahler (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) returns for this4th season with the Warriors. Christian is the leader of thedefensive backfield, and was 3rd on the team in tackles as well asadding 2 interceptions and 4 passes defended. Christian alsocompeted in the 2014 CIS East-West Bowl game.

Key Recruits:
DB Ethan McDonagh (London, Ont.)
DB Lucas Merlin (Burlington, Ont.)
DL Matt Macera (Burlington, Ont.)
DL Cage Maracle (Guelph, Ont.)

Key Losses:
DL Djordje Gavrilovic
DB Harrison Mair
DL Matt Tolliver

SPECIALTEAMS

Key returning players:
LS Brandon Corelli (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.)
Cover Miklos McMaster (Niagara Falls, Ont.)
Cover Paul Kaija (Sarnia, Ont.)

Key Recruits:
P/K Caleb Girard

Key Losses
Cover/Returner Harrsion Thomas

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